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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 155: Power to make byelaws

440.This section provides a power for an IFC authority to make byelaws which must be observed in its district. Byelaws, apart from emergency byelaws, do not take effect until confirmed by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State may cause a local inquiry to be held before confirming a byelaw. A byelaw may be confirmed with modifications, which must be agreed with the IFC authority that made it.

Section 156: Provision that may be made by byelaw

441.This section sets out a non-exhaustive list of the types of activities for which IFC authorities may make byelaws (including emergency byelaws) to manage sea fisheries resources in their district.

442.Subsection (3) enables byelaws to be made prohibiting or restricting the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in specified areas or periods or limiting the amount of resources that may be exploited or the amount of time a person or vessel may spend exploiting fisheries resources in a specified period.

443.Subsection (4) allows IFC authorities to prohibit or restrict the exploitation of sea fisheries resources within their district without a permit. IFC authorities will be able to recover the costs of administering and enforcing a permit scheme, attach conditions to permits and limit the number of permits they issue under a particular scheme.

444.Subsection (5) allows IFC authorities to prohibit or restrict the use of vessels of specified descriptions and any method of exploiting sea fisheries resources. The possession, use and transportation of specified items or types of items used in the exploitation of sea fisheries resources may also be prohibited or restricted. This would enable an IFC authority to require the use of a particular method of sea fishing or an item used in sea fishing (for example to reduce by-catch) by means of a prohibition on the use of other methods and items.

445.Subsection (6) provides for the protection and regulation of shellfisheries including, but not limited to, requirements for shellfish to be re-deposited in specified places and for the protection of shellfish laid down for breeding purposes and culch, which is the substrate/material on which the spat or young of shellfish may attach and grow. This subsection also enables a district of oyster cultivation to be established, so that the IFC authority may prohibit the sale of oysters between certain dates, and allows IFC authorities to disapply the defence concerning the taking and sale of certain crabs and lobsters as set out in section 17(2) of the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967.

446.Subsection (7) allows IFC authorities to make provision in byelaws for monitoring the exploitation of sea fisheries resources. This includes requirements as to the fitting of particular equipment, the carriage of onboard observers and the marking or tagging of items used in the exploitation of sea fisheries resources.

447.Subsection (8) allows IFC authorities to require people involved in the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in their district to provide them with specified information so that it is an offence if certain information is not provided.

Section 157: Emergency byelaws

448.This section allows an IFC authority to make an emergency byelaw which takes effect without first being confirmed by the Secretary of State. Subsection (2) prescribes the circumstances in which an emergency byelaw may be made.

449.Subsection (3) provides when an emergency byelaw will come into force and for how long, subject to a maximum of 12 months duration. Subsections (4) and (5) allow an IFC authority to extend an emergency byelaw once for a period of up to 6 months with the written approval of the Secretary of State. That approval may only be given in accordance with the terms set out at subsection (6).

Section 158: Byelaws: supplementary provision

450.Subsections (1) and (2) clarify that byelaw-making powers include powers to make byelaws for different cases or circumstances and that a byelaw may cease to have effect after a specified period.

451.Subsection (3) provides for IFC authorities to introduce a byelaw that prohibits, restricts, or otherwise interferes with the exercise of any right of a several or private fishery as set out in subsection (4). If the byelaw would prohibit, or significantly restrict or interfere with, the exercise of that right, IFC authorities will require consent from the person who enjoys the right of private fishery, unless part or the whole of that fishery falls within an MCZ, a European Marine Site, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Ramsar site or a National Nature Reserve (NNR).

Section 159: Power of Secretary of State to amend or revoke byelaws

452.This section allows the Secretary of State to revoke or restrict the application of any byelaw made by an IFC authority where it appears to the Secretary of State that the byelaw is unnecessary, inadequate or disproportionate. Before doing so the Secretary of State must follow the requirements of subsection (2) about notifying the IFC authority and considering objections.

Section 160: Byelaws: procedure

453.This section allows the Secretary of State to make regulations about the procedure to be followed by an IFC authority when making byelaws (including emergency byelaws). This section also enables regulations to make provision about the procedure to be followed by an eligible body in relation to byelaws, where an IFC authority has delegated functions relating to byelaws (see section 167).

Section 161: Inquiries

454.This section applies, with modifications, subsections (2) to (5) of section 250 of the Local Government Act 1972 to any inquiry under section 155(5) or 159(3).

Section 162: Evidence of byelaws

455.This section provides that the production of a signed copy of a byelaw is conclusive evidence of the byelaw. An emergency byelaw must be signed by an officer or member of the relevant IFC authority. Other byelaws must be signed by or on behalf of the Secretary of State.

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